Known as Master Mohib Ullah, the 48-year-old was one of the most prominent advocates for the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.
Prior to his death, he had been serving as chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights. The group was founded in 2017 to document atrocities against Rohingya in their native Myanmar and give them a voice in international talks about their future.
He had also represented the Rohingya community at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019.
After he was shot dead at his office in the Kutupalong camp in Ukhiya on Sept 29, 2021, his family pointed the finger at ARSA. The family moved to Canada in April this year amid growing concerns about their safety in the refugee settlement.
Around eight and a half months after the incident, police submitted the charge-sheet to the court on Monday, naming 29 Rohingya people, 15 of whom are behind bars and the rest are on the run.
Cox’s Bazar Public Prosecutor Faridul Alam said the investigators echoed the family’s claim that ARSA planned and carried out the killing of Mohib Ullah. “ARSA and others against repatriation were angry at Mohib Ullah because of his popularity,” he said, citing the charges.
More than 700,000 of the 1.1 million refugees in Bangladesh crossed the border in 2017 after a brutal Myanmar military crackdown dubbed “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the UN. The Myanmar military launched the operation in retaliation for deadly attacks on border posts claimed by ARSA.
Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, the biggest of their kind in the world, have been roiled by gunfights and clashes on many occasions. Police described most of these incidents as robbery or smuggling cases.
The sprawling camps have become increasingly violent, residents say, with armed men vying for power, kidnapping critics, and warning women against breaking conservative Islamic norms.
At least six people were killed in an attack on a madrasa inside the Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhiya in October 2021.